Loving Your Husband by Loving His Kids
What does love look like to a woman who has rebuilt a life with her and her children? What does love look like to a man who has rebuilt a life with him and his children?
As wives in blended families, sometimes we forget that before there was an “us,” it was just him, and them. For a period of time, your husband was a single parent. For a period of time, his children were all he had left. For a period of time, his primary focus was centered around putting their lives back together.
Then came you.
He was drawn to you, not just because you seemed to be a good match for him. He was drawn to you because of who you could be to them. All of them. It wasn’t because he wanted home cooked meals and neatly folded laundry. It wasn’t just because he wanted someone to lie next to in bed at night.
This man made a silent statement when he asked you to become his wife. He realized that his children’s lives would be better with you present.
Being a stepmom is not easy. Learning to love kids that didn’t start out as yours, just as if they are yours, doesn’t always come naturally. Depending on how accepting they have been of your entry into their lives, it can be a downright battle. But if you brought children of your own into the marriage as well, you know the impact of having the “other” parent go the extra mile with “your” kids.
Building bonds with children who haven’t been yours from the beginning takes intention.
I gained four children overnight when I married my husband, and love looks different to each of them. It has taken time and prayer to figure out how to build relationships with them that go deeper than surface-level.
This has looked like spa nights with his teenage daughter. Learning about football plays and asking questions after practice with the boys. It has looked like Lego building and cookie baking, long walks with popsicles and late nights with movies and back scratches. Playing catch and pushing swings and leaving notes (and candy!) in lunch boxes.
Because of intentional connection with my husbands children, my husband’s heart has been opened to me in entirely new and deeper ways.
Although I haven’t made these investments of time, energy and creativity to get anything in return from my husband, the rewards I have reaped in our marriage are a hundred fold. I have learned that there is nothing more meaningful that I can do than love his children and make them feel at home with me.
Jesus set a precedent for us to follow. When He asked Peter if he loved Him, and Peter responded, “Yes,” what did Jesus say next? “Feed my sheep.” He was saying, “If you love me, show me by loving my kids.” He later said in Matthew 25:40, “…Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” So, we get credit for acts of love to others as if we did them for Jesus himself.
If we love God, we model it by our love and care for His children. It works the same way in our marriages. By loving a father’s children, you are ultimately showing love to him.
Wife Step: Love your husband this week by intentionally spending quality time with your stepchildren. Be creative and extend more effort than you do on a regular basis.
Elizabeth Oschwald is a freelance writer, blogger, and joy-seeker. She lives in central Illinois in an ever-improving rustic farmhouse with her husband and seven children. They are a blended family, which means the journey she pictured for her life and the one she’s found herself on are definitely different. But it also means she knows firsthand how God takes broken things and makes them beautiful. She loves to write transparently about their raw and real family life, her experiences in single motherhood, and how Jesus can add joy in every season. You can connect with her at www.addingjoy.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.